When April's full moon comes calling and lights up the night, there is (or ought to be) tiny new grasses underfoot, the astringent scent of life-giving sap flowing through twigs and branches as the earth undertakes her reckless prodigal flaring into spring. This northern part of the world awakens slowly, and in April we northerners tend to go a little mad, cavorting like ecstatic fools on the cusp between winter and spring as we wait for temperatures to rise and the landscape to come to life. In her resemblance to a great cosmic egg or seed, this month's full moon expresses the greening to come and the new life quickening in the earth far below her light.
A puckish and unpredictable thing is life in the great round and "the matter of moons". We go faithfully out with tripod and camera month after month, always hoping to see the moon on her special night but never really sure - especially in springtime when the lady is concealed by rain clouds for days at a time. It rained here last evening and there was no moon to be seen, but Spencer and I were fortunate the night before. Luna rose above the bare trees in inky, cloudless skies, and we were there to watch her ascend.
Around this time every year, I find myself all wrapped up in vague longings that evade description, wandering for hours in the woods and reaching for something that can't be articulated in words or captured on a memory card. Some of the restlessness can be attributed to my being here all winter while family members, neighbors and friends rambled away to warmer climes, but the simple truth is that I too long to sprout leaves and burst into shaggy riotous bloom. The moon in her fullness has a way of quieting my nebulous springtime longings, and sometimes old stones lull them too, as do little garden jungles of rain dappled leaves and flocks of Canada geese passing overhead on their way to the river. There's a gentle kind of wabi sabi melancholy in such yearnings that becomes stronger and more compelling with every passing year.
We also know this restless yearning moon as the: Ashes Moon, Big Spring Moon, Broken Snowshoe Moon, Budding Trees Moon, Bullhead Moon, Cherry Blossom Moon, Daisy Moon, Fish Moon, Flower Moon, Fourth Moon, Frog Moon, Glittering Snow on Lake Moon, Grass Moon, Gray Goose Moon, Great Sand Storm Moon, Green Grass Moon, Growing Moon, Half Spring Moon, Hare Moon, Ice Breaking in the River Moon, Leaf Split Moon, Loon Moon, Maple Sap Moon, Moon of Greening Grass, Moon of the Big Leaves, Moon of the Red Grass Appearing, Moon of Windbreak, Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation, Moon When Nothing Happens, Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs, Moon When They Set Indian Corn, Moon, Pink Moon, Planter's Moon, Planting Corn Moon, Planting Moon, Poinciana Moon, Red Grass Appearing Moon, Ring Finger Moon, Snowdrop Moon, Snowshoe Breaking Moon, Spring Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Strawberry Moon, Strong Moon, Sugar Moon.
Happy Earth Day, everyone!